Thame Local History
Thame Grammar School in the 17th Century

During the first half of the seventeenth century the school was at the height of its prosperity and influence. Its benches were crowded with sons of neighbouring gentry, as well as of farmers and tradespeople.

Its scholars, mainly pupils of Richard Boucher, 1597-1627, who had the reputation of

"sparing the rod that he might impart his beloved learning,"

distinguished themselves in Parliament, on the Bench, and in the Church.

"The families of the Ingoldsbys and Hampdens in Bucks," says Anthony Wood, "while young had been mostly bred in the said school of Thame, and had sojourned either with the vicar or the master."

Few schools can show such a list of pupils as the following:

John Hampden, patriot
Henry King of Worminghall, Bishop of Chichester
Mr Speaker Lenthall, of Latchford

Shakerley Marmion, dramatist
Arthur Goodwin, friend of John Hampden
Edward Pockock, orientalist

Sir Richard Ingoldsby, regicide
Simon Mayne of Dinton, regicide

John Fell, Dean of Christchurch Cathedral and Bishop of Oxford "I do not love thee, Doctor Fell"
Daniel Whistler of Elvington, physician and one of the founders of the Royal Society

Anthony Wood, antiquary
Thomas Ellwood, Quaker
Sir George Etherege, dramatist
Sir John Holt, Lord Chief Justice

During the Civil War schooling was frequently disrupted by the use of the school buildings to accommodate both Parliamentarian and Royalist troops, and much damage to the building and its fittings was encountered.

However much of this damage was repaired, and during the latter part of the seventeenth century, the school seems to have regained much of the reputation it enjoyed before the Civil War.

      John Hampden

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  Thame, Oxfordshire, England